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Zimbabwean Lawyer Arrested For Arguments 'Demeaning' To Mugabe

Zimbabwean police on Wednesday arrested lawyer Harrison Nkomo on accusations he made “dangerous statements” and comments demeaning to President Robert Mugabe last week in a bail hearing for opposition members and a journalist.

Lawyer Charles Kwaramba, representing Nkomo, said the attorney was still being held by police late on Wednesday. Neither the exact statements made by Nkomo not the precise charges being brought against him could be immediately determined.

When he allegedly made the offending statements in the Harare high court, Nkomo was presenting arguments for bail to be granted to several opposition members and a freelance journalist held on charges of public violence in connection with a general strike called April 15 by the Movement for Democratic Change.

Elsewhere, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Secretary General Wellington Chibebe and President Lovemore Matombo presented themselves to police after their homes were ransacked by authorities Tuesday night in their absence. But police at Harare Central Station showed interest in questioning them, so they left.

Lawyer Kwaramba told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Nkomo's arrest and Tuesday's searches of the homes of the union officials represent attempts by the authorities to harass and intimidate his clients.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...